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ISSN: 1935-1232 (P)

ISSN: 1941-2010 (E)

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Abstract

Depressive Symptoms in Schizophrenia Outpatients??? Prevalence and Clinical Correlates

Author(s): Oliver Freudenreich , Constantin Tranulis, Cori Cather , David C. Henderson, A. Eden Evins , Donald C. Goff

Background: Depressive symptoms are common in schizophrenia and can occur during any phase of the illness. Our goal was to establish the prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms in a cohort of schizophrenia outpatients at varying stages of their illness who were receiving first- and second-generation antipsychotics. Method: In a crosssectional study, we comprehensively assessed psychopathology in 131 schizophrenia outpatients. Correlations and multiple linear regressions were used to explore correlates of depression, specifically illness course variables, residual positive symptoms, insight and treatment. Results: Using a cutoff threshold of fourteen on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), 14% of patients experienced clinically significant depression, regardless of age of illness onset or duration of illness. While 22% of the cohort received antidepressants, the treated subgroup was not different from the untreated cohort with regard to depressive symptoms. Patients treated with first-generation antipsychotics did not exhibit more depression compared to those receiving second-generation antipsychotics. A multiple linear regression model that included positive symptoms, insight, meeting schizophrenia criteria in the past month, and being treated with mood stabilizers explained 33.6% of the variance of the HAM-D. Conclusions: Our results confirm significant depressive symptoms in a notable proportion of schizophrenia outpatients. Effective treatments are urgently needed to reduce the psychopathology burden beyond psychosis